A PROJECT working across Dartmoor, Exmoor and Bodmin Moor has been shortlisted for a national award following exception work to rescue butterfly populations in the South West.

All the Moor Butterflies from the Butterfly Conservation is one of six projects shortlisted for the prestigious 2019 Park Protector Award and the very first Year of Green Action Award for National Park projects from the Government’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

This project is rescuing butterfly populations from collapse in south west England. Through working with farmers and other organisations the project aims to save six threatened species of butterfly and moth.

Jenny Plackett, south west regional manager at Butterfly Conservation said: ‘Butterfly Conservation is absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for this award for our work to improve the fortunes of our declining fritillary butterflies across Dartmoor, Exmoor and Bodmin Moor. We have been working alongside dedicated farmers and landowners to increase the quality and extent of suitable breeding habitat, and it would be wonderful if our partnership efforts were to be recognised with this Park Protector Award.’

The project fought off stiff competition to be within touching distance of the awards, the results of which will be announced in a parliamentary reception in July. This year saw the most applicants apply in the competition history!

Corinne Pluchino, chief executive of Campaign for National Parks, said: ‘The projects are each making an outstanding difference in some of the most famous countryside in the world, they are more vital than ever. When the natural world is under threat like never before and in the year of the national parks’ 70th anniversary no less!

‘From introducing asylum seekers to the Yorkshire Dales to rescuing endangered butterflies, it’s testament to the power of the national parks that they are inspiring people to make our countryside a better place for all.’ said

Launching the competition, Lord Gardiner of Kimble, the government minister for national parks said: ‘From my experience travelling the diverse and beautiful landscapes of the parks I know that there is work to be done, whether that is work to enhance nature or introduce more people than ever to the glory of the countryside. But I also know that very challenge is being embraced by projects up and down the country.’

The winning projects will be announced at a parliamentary reception on July 10. The winner of the Park Protector Award will receive a £2,000 grant towards their work, while the winner of the Year of Green Action Award will receive £1,500.